For those that are new to Yankees Chick, there was a picture I used to post whenever the Yankees would sweep a team, and it was George Steinbrenner on one of the parade floats, in either ’98 or ’99, holding a broom with a maniacal look on his face. It was dubbed “Crazy Stein” and quickly became tradition. Since returning to the blog earlier this month, I haven’t had occasion to use it……until now. So, without further ado, I give you Crazy Stein!
I hope to post him at least two or three more times before this season finally ends. To make matters even better, we won in a walk-off! In extras! BTW, no matter how dismal our playoff prospects might be, I’m quite heartened by the fact that at least we’re not the Red Sox. Yeesh.
Chris Capuano toed the rubber for the final game this series, pitching a very respectable 6.0 innings, giving up 3 ER on 6 H, while walking none and striking out 5. Our bullpen was strong in relief, until David Robertson came in for the save in the 9th and promptly gave up a run, necessitating us going to extras. I was very disappointed in him, because I know he can pitch better than that. We’re going on the road next to play some pretty important teams, including Kansas City…..and when was the last time someone could refer to them as an “important team.” We really need everyone in the rotation and in the bullpen to be at the top of the games at all times.
Well, I didn’t want Martin Prado to yet again have to bear the responsibility of keeping our team in the game, so on that note, I was rather pleased to see it was someone other than him. On the other hand, blowing your wad in one inning and then doing basically nothing until the last minute is getting kind of stale and tiresome. I know, I know….how could I possibly be upset that we lost? I’m not upset that we lost, rather, I’m unhappy at our inconsistent play forcing us to win in this manner more often than we should. Brian McCann came in as a PH in the 10th and smacked a 3-run HR to right field, so he undoubtedly wins Offensive Star of the Game, but honorable mention goes to Ichiro, who went 2-4 with 2 RBI. Their combined 5 RBI were enough to win the game, but again….let’s spread it out a bit more, fellas.
After winning a great series against the heavily-favored Detroit Tigers, including two games against Cy Young winners, we follow that up by losing a series to the damn Cleveland Indians. I’ll be damned if I get it, but maybe I’m not supposed to. Unfortunately, the two losses we incurred in this series dropped us back down to 3rd place in the AL East, after Toronto won in 19 innings (another one?!) against the Tigers. My not-so-official opinion on that is, if it takes more than say…..1 1/2 games, or 13-14 innings, call it and finish it before the next scheduled game. That’s one of the only things I don’t like about baseball; it can become interminable. If the score is 2-2, you’re going to keep playing until someone scores, whether that’s three innings or three days later. If it’s an afternoon game that stretches that long, okay fine, but if it’s a 7:05 or 8:05 start…..you gotta call that shit.
Our pitching wasn’t bad, necessarily, as we’ve won games after giving up a lot more than just 4 runs, but when your offense craps the bed, you’re not going to win no matter what. Kuroda didn’t have the best start he’s ever had, lasting only 4.2 innings, giving up 3 ER on 5 H, with 4 BB and 3 SO, but the bullpen did a great job, essentially holding the Indians in place to try and give us a chance to scrabble together some runs.
Speaking of runs, we didn’t even score one until the 9th inning, but by then it was too little, too late. Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-4 with an RBI, our only run of the game.
We’re playing Baltimore next, and I don’t have high hopes for this series, so I’ll just cross my fingers and hope we don’t spectacularly embarrass ourselves.
Well…..I can take a couple of things away from the game. One, we were able to score 3 runs off David Price, even though we have in the past, scored more off of him than that. Two, we lost in extras, which meant we didn’t get blown out. Three, our pitcher held his own against a very good Detroit offense, last night’s offensive output aside. We’ll call those the three sliver linings of an otherwise dark, gloomy cloud. At least Toronto lost as well, so we didn’t lose any ground against them, and Boston lost too…..which puts them 15 games back. Look, I understand that it’s kind of tacky to root against a team as hard as you root for one, but I hate the Red Sox. Hate, hate, HATE them. When they lose, unless it’s to a team I need them to beat, I’m happy.
Hiroki Kuroda can only work with what he gets, and while I knew getting a ton of run support off Price wasn’t going to be easy, I thought we’d be able to do better than three. It’s better than zero, though. Hiroki threw a very solid 7 innings, giving up only 3 ER on 6 H while striking out 5. Our pen did great until the end, so I can’t be too hard on Daley for giving up one bad pitch. It happens.
Our offense though….I wasn’t too impressed. Again, I knew getting runs of David Price might be hard, but when it appeared we were hitting him early, we never capitalized on it. Pitchers like that….you have to knock them out in the first three innings, or they’ll be there until the end. As it was, Price pitched into the 9th inning. Jacoby Ellsbury and Martin Prado were the big hitters last night, both going 2-5 with an RBI. Brian McCann scored our only other run, a solo shot in the 2nd.
We face Verlander tonight, so we really need to win. Not just to take the series, which is important now, but so we can keep pace with Toronto and Baltimore and not fall any further behind.
Well, you knew it was time for him to make a re-appearance. I think a 15 inning victory counts for dramatic, although it shouldn’t have needed that many innings just to beat the damn Orioles. More on that later, though.
How about that Bartolo Colon? Good grief. 8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. Can we get this all the time, please? Mo came in for what we thought was a routine 9th inning save, but he kinda got a case of the yips and gave up a run….thus necessitating extra innings. I’ll give our bullpen lots of credit though….they were solid. Rock solid. Noesi was a horse, pitching four relief innings, giving up only four hits. Great, great job by the pitching last night.
The offense though….yeesh. One run until the 15th inning? Great time to finally wake up, though. We did get lots of production though, to the tune of 15 hits, even if our run total didn’t reflect that. Alex went 4-7, Derek went 2-7, which means he’s only 32 hits away from 3,000 now. Robbie went 2-6 with 2 RBI, Russell Martin went 2-4, Mark went 2-6….we got a little something from everyone. Of that group, the stand-out hitter was Alex, though. Good for him too, he’s been slumping lately. Let’s carry this into the last game of this little two-game series and sweep the O’s.
Stars of the Game™
Bartolo Colon, our bullpen, and Alex Rodriguez!
Unlike the last few games, we actually got some great starting pitching for once. Phil had a great start, going 6 innings, giving up only 1 ER on 3 H, with 4 BB and 4 K. The blip on the radar as far as our pitching went last night was Mo, who is having a horrible end of the season, which is quite rare for him. Thankfully what little offense we’ve had the last few games was able to muster up a couple more to bail him and everyone else out.
Alex Rodriguez is doing everything in his power to get to 30 HRs for the 13th consecutive season. His 7th inning HR gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead and brought him to 29 HRs on the season. Mark went 3-4, and Robbie went 2-4 with a game-tying RBI in the bottom of the 9th. Aside from them, no one else did anything else. Which is beginning to get irritating. Whether we are the AL East champs again or the Wild Card winners, we need to get our butts in gear, because we’ll more than likely end up playing the Rangers to get the WS, and they still have Cliff Lee. For now.
Stars of the Game™
Our starting pitching sucked last night. I’m just going to be honest with you. We had a 6-0 lead and Nova completed choked it up and after the 5th, we found ourselves down 7-6. A 6-run lead. Gone. Oy vey. We tied the game the following inning and it stayed tied because our pen managed to not give up any more runs to the damn Rays. Boone, Joba, Kerry, Dave and Mo all combined for 5.1 innings of two-hit ball. Now that’s a bullpen. And it’s good they held the Rays to 7 runs because our offense died until the top of the 10th. I hope our bullpen keeps up what they’ve been doing and I hope our rotation gets its act together. The playoffs are coming sooner than we think.
Well…..6 runs usually should be enough to win a ballgame, unfortunately for us though, we needed two more than that. Fortunately, we were able to provide those two runs. A quick run down of the lineup shows a few players that had good/great nights. Alex went 2-6 with 2 RBI, Robbie went 3-4 with 3 RBI, and Jorge came in as a PH in the 10th and hit the tie-breaking and game-winning HR for the Yanks. Derek went 2-5, Grandy went 2-5, Mark went 1-5 with an RBI, and Austin Kearns went 1-5. So the offense had a great game, if only our pitching (aside from the pen) did too. Let’s do the same tonight and take the series. I can’t remember the last time we did that.
Stars of the Game™
I didn’t get to watch the end of the game, so I had to read the box score when I got up this morning to find out if we were able to pull off the win and imagine my shock AND horror to find out that in the bottom of the 10th, Mo slipped slightly from his lofty perch on Mt. Olympus and coughed up the tie Alex had given us a couple innings earlier. I guess we take Mo for granted, because I didn’t think he was capable of such lapses in judgment.
Let’s do better today and split this short two-game set before we head to Kansas City.